being a teacher, change, classroom expectations, our classroom

What Dreams Reminds Us Of

Last night I lost control of my class.  It was a dream, of course, it being Sunday today, but I have had this dream before.  The students are older – nothing likethose  older students to be disrespectful.  The classroom is crowded – poor teaching conditions.  The task is simple and yet they don’t understand.  They talk amongst themselves.  They get up and move around to talk.  They are too busy, too bored, to listen to me.

So I raise my voice and I yell at them.  Except in this dream I always start to lose my voice thus leaving me  feeling powerless.  The students proceed with their misbehavior.

They rush into the task I have created, they do it wrong.  I signal for their attention by yelling but I cannot yell over the crowd.  They ignore me and we do not get through what we need to.

They start to answer my questions but they are doing it all wrong and the frustration increases until finally the bell rings; class dismissed. the students are upset, I am ready to quit teaching, and my heart is pounding.

The first time I had this dream I thought it was a reflection of me and it was; how I used to be.  How I used to control my classroom.  Yet this dream is nothing like my now classroom.  The students are the perfect age for me, they are moving around because they learn better that way.  They pay attention when they need to and I barely ever raise my voice.  Instead I wait until I get their attention and then provide them with the task.  But the biggest difference; the task itself.  In the dream the task is meaningless, not tied into anything, and totally controlled by me.  In reality our tasks are building blocks, shaped by the students and with a bigger purpose.

So I wake from  my nightmare shook up but aware that i have changed my reality.  That I no longer thrive on controlling my students but relish the freedom they have in my room.  Relish the community we have built.  relish the learning happening.  My brain may be playing tricks on me but it does serve a reminder of why I changed my classroom philosophy; I did it for the students.

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